I-4 floods again in construction zone, drain blocked again

FDOT to Discuss Accountability With Contractor

By Erik von Ancken - Anchor/Reporter

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Sunday night, all lanes were blocked on Interstate 4 westbound in the Longwood area due to flooding for the second time in a little more than a week.

Standing water on the highway kept cars stopped in the lanes.

FDOT said drain inlets were again blocked by trash and debris, the same reason the same area flooded on Aug.1.

Monday afternoon, FDOT spokesperson Jessica Ottaviano said the contractor responsible for the $2.3 billion I-4 Ultimate project will work to prevent future flooding in the Longwood area.

"We are working with the contractor on improvements to the project's drainage action plan," Ottaviano said. "For this specific area, the contractor will pave around the drain to make it more effective, install a wire trap on the inlet, increase the frequency of checking these inlets, as well as station a pump in this area as an added precaution."

Sunday night's flooding was at least the sixth time I-4 construction zones have been underwater in the past few months.

Other flooded areas include Maitland and Downtown Orlando.

FDOT has said repeatedly the contractor had put crews on standby during heavy rain and was regularly monitoring drainage lines to make sure they remained clear.

Monday afternoon, FDOT said it would begin discussing penalizing and holding the contractor accountable.

"The contractor is aware of the department's position, that the roadway should remain passable and flooding should not occur," Ottaviano said. "There are provisions in the contract that cover this, as well as possible penalties. As the contract covers several years, incidents are tracked. Discussions regarding accountability follow."
 

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